Leesburg Councilwoman Suzanne Fox, who is wrapping up her four-year term, announced recently she is running for mayor in the Nov. 8 General Election.
Fox will face incumbent Kelly Burk, who said she filed her paperwork in January, is seeking her fourth straight term.
She said in an email to the Times-Mirror that she’s concerned with the “excessive partisanship on the council” and believes it starts at the top.
“The mayor should set the tone for the way that the town council operates and collaborates. And when the mayor is pushing partisan policies and proclamations that are both unnecessary and divisive, it makes it much more difficult for the council members to work productively together, as they are often town between partisan loyalties and effective working relationships,” Fox said in an email to the Times-Mirror.
Recently, the councilwoman most notably challenged the town council’s decision to mandate that town employees be vaccinated despite an exodus of employees from the town and police department since the mandate was passed.
She said debate over the vaccine mandate illustrates the importance of looking at facts and data, and listening to input from the community and employees, rather than “doggedly pursuing a partisan agenda.”
“Council chose to implement one of the most draconian forms of the vaccine mandate garnering attention in regional and national news and costing us many great employees,” Fox said. “Given the current political environment, where there are signs that voters are starting to reject extremism, partisanship and divisiveness, I believe that now is the right time for my message of principled non-partisan leadership.”
Representatives from the town and police department told the Times-Mirror that 11 full-time town employees, including seven officers left as of Dec. 9. A spokesperson from the town said no employee officially cited the mandate as a reason for leaving, but five of them left for reasons not associated with the mandate.
Further, Leesburg officials said the town has 342 employees and the police department has approximately 90 sworn positions and 18 civilian positions representing a town of approximately 54,000 residents.
Fox has served on the Leesburg Town Council for two terms since 2014 and as the vice mayor for two years. The councilmember ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia Senate District in 2019, but lost to current seatholder Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D).
Currently she sits on Loudoun County’s Court House Grounds and Facilities Committee.
She is the co-owner of Legacy Weddings, a wedding planning and coordinating business in Leesburg, and is a civil celebrant in Virginia. She also holds a degree in social work from Brigham Young University.
Fox joins three councilmembers with terms ending on Dec. 31 including Vice Mayor Fernando “Marty” Martinez and Council Member Neil Steinberg. Martinez is running for the newly created House of Delegates seat and Steinberg did not immediately respond if he will run for re-election.
Leesburg resident Todd Cimino-Johnson, a program coordinator at a community and technical college, announced in December that he plans to run for one of the three seats available.
Fox will face Burk after she won her third term with 56.78% of the vote defeating former council members Tom Dunn and Ron Campbell.
“I believe that when it comes to collaborating and facilitating common-sense, nonpartisan solutions, my record speaks for itself, as I have consistently tried to work with a wide range of individuals from all sectors of the community and across the political spectrum,” Fox said. “No one should ever feel uncomfortable approaching the mayor or anyone on the council because of political differences. The mayor of Leesburg represents all of Leesburg, not a political party.”
Loudoun County will have races for the Leesburg and Broad Run School Board member seats, as well as for the Towns of Hamilton, Hillsboro, Lovettsville and Purcellville.
The Virginia Supreme Court is still deciding whether to have elections included in November for the newly created district seats from the redrawn maps.
Candidates are also challenging Jennifer Wexton (D) for her 10th Congressional District seat.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.